Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

Posted: March 4, 2012 in Book and Article Reviews, Spiritual Formation
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Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline has become a classic in the minds of many Christians. It is not a difficult read, but contains a great deal of powerful insight into spiritual disciplines. Foster separates the disciplines into three sections: Inward Disciplines, Outward Disciplines, and Corporate Disciplines. I fully appreciate the emphasis that Foster places on relational aspects of discipline. These are not ends nor do they manipulate God into getting what we want. Rather, they are a way that God uses to shape us into certain types of people. Furthermore, the result of the disciplines is not merely an individual’s task. Instead, a deeper relationship with God inevitably flows out to a hurting world. And, it is used to edify the Body of Christ. Foster covers several disciplines; Inward: meditation, prayer, fasting, study; Outward: simplicity, solitude, submission, service; Corporate: confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. A life filled with joy is the end result of a well-disciplined life. It is a life of obedience… not to strict rule and ordinances, but to a God that loves us and whom we love in return. One of the things we have to be careful is the fact that we tend to gravitate toward a particular discipline that we find most natural. As such, it can cause us to be lopsided or under-grown in other areas that we find more difficult. It is not about doing the discipline perfectly… but, it is about being open to the Spirit of God to transform out lives through these disciplines.

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